Michael Cotayo


About Me

Why am I the right therapist for you?

I am asked that question a lot. I think most people have this fear about what therapy is like, and many of these ideas are misconceptions or ideas they have gained from the media. What I have heard from most people who receive services from me are that I am very easy to talk to, and that it doesn’t seem like therapy, it seems like they are talking to someone who can really just listen to them, and help them with their problems.

Therapy should never feel like a chore, and it doesn’t have to be painful. When someone says to me, I’ve tried therapy before, and it didn’t work, I would say maybe they did not have the right therapist. Not everyone gels with everyone. Hopefully when we speak, you will find that it’s a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you!

Part of what makes me unique as a therapist is that I try to make therapy bearable for those who seem to have an aversion to it. When appropriate, I may crack a joke or two. Research has even shown that laughter in therapy can help to make the process more manageable, and to move the therapeutic process along quicker.

My name is Mike Cotayo, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received a Master’s in Social Work from New York University in 2000. A majority of my post-master’s career has been spent working within the HIV/AIDS community as a social worker, advocate, community organizer, counselor and administrator.

As a trained Gestalt therapist I hold the belief that we are all greater than the sum of our parts, and in order to heal these parts we must work with our body, mind, and soul to obtain the answers that will help facilitate change. Psychotherapy is an individualized service plan that will help a person become more aware of their actions, and how it affects the way they may interact with the world. During our first few sessions, we will be working collaboratively to develop a treatment plan that best suits your needs. We will work on the issues that you bring to the table, and together we will carve out a road map that will help lead you to a more authentic self.

Through my work with this community, I have perfected my skills as a counselor and group facilitator, providing treatment to clients who have varying degrees of need, and who are in varying degrees of distress. Although I have serviced individuals, couples and families with depression, anxiety, and varying degrees of adjustment disorders, I have a number of specialties that I am proficient in.

My specialties include:

Crisis Intervention Counseling
Working with those Affected and Infected By HIV/AIDS
Group Counseling and Psychotherapy
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer Population
Substance Abuse
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted Clients
Grief and Bereavement Counseling
Disabled Population
Gestalt Psychotherapy


  • Addictions
  • Relationship issues
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Anger management

I also have experience in Stress, Anxiety, LGBT, Family conflicts, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Eating disorders, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Depression

Years of Experience: 10

Services Offered

  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video


LCSW #075634-R (Expires: 2021-05-31)


Written by K.E. on Sep 02, 2018 after counseling with Michael for 2 weeks on issues concerning anger

Michael was a very good listener and gave me a couple of concrete steps to take toward helping me with my issue during our very first session. Overall a very positive experience.